By Carlos Spencer
Grace is God’s kindness, His gracious generosity, His undeserved favour and spiritual blessing. The Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV): “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”
There is nothing that we do that justifies God’s grace. It is given freely by God because of our faith. Faith leads to God’s undeserved favour, and this is available freely. In his first letter to the Corinthians, 15:10 (KJV) Paul wrote: “But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” Paul attributes his good work to the grace of God.
We observe how grace enabled Esther to receive favour with the king in Esther 2:16-17. Jeremiah records how the people “found grace in the wilderness” in Jeremiah 31:2. During Paul’s most difficult moment of suffering Jesus said to him in a vision (2 Corinthians 12:9 - KJV): “My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” God’s power is strongest when we are weak, and this is all due to the gift of grace. Hebrews 4:16 (KJV) states “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Whilst grace refers to receiving something we do not deserve, for example unmerited favour, mercy concerns not getting a punishment that is deserved; compassion, forbearance. Grace and mercy are abundantly available from God. His greatest act of grace is the gift of salvation which is available to everyone through faith. Paul wrote in Romans 5:2 (KJV): “By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”
Scripture provides us with many examples of the power of grace. John 1:14 (KJV) tells us, “And the Word was made flesh, and dealt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father) full of grace and truth.” Luke wrote in Acts 4:33 (KJV) “And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.” Acts 6:8 (KJV) records: “And Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people.” Once we develop our walk with God, our faith will grow and so does God’s gift of grace in our lives. The apostle Peter wrote in 2 Peter 1:2 (KJV) “Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.”
Psalm 84:11 reminds us that “for the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will be withhold from them that walk uprightly.” It is imperative that we always exercise humility before God to enable us to receive the free gift of grace. Faith alone will not suffice, but must be accompanied by a humble heart and meek demeanour before our Creator. This point is clearly made in James 4:6 (KJV): “But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” We should also remember that Jesus is the means by which we receive the grace of God. This is confirmed in John 1:17 (KJV): “For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.” Again, 1 Corinthians 1:3 (KJV): “Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.”
God’s gift of free, unmerited grace enables us to receive forgiveness for our sins. Paul wrote in Romans 3:23-24 (KJV): “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God: Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:” Paul places the significance of grace in perspective in Romans 5:21 (KJV) “That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” The amazing Paul again wrote in Ephesians 2:5 (KJV): “Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace ye are saved).”
Peter admonishes us in 2 Peter 3:18 (KJV): “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.” Paul concludes his letter to the Ephesians, chapter 6, verse 24 (KJV): “Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.” Thanks be to God for the sharing of His Word.